What Is Severe Morning Sickness?

Not every pregnant woman will experience morning sickness but about 1 in 300 will experience severe morning sickness. Amongst them is Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, who has already been rushed to the hospital because of the severity of the condition.

Morning sickness is the first pregnancy symptom that comes to mind. But not all women will be bothered in the morning by nausea and vomiting. Unfortunately there are a few women, not as lucky, for whom nausea and vomiting gets severe. And it’s not just that. Pregnant women with severe morning sickness have a hard time handling the other symptoms of the conditions such as tiredness, shivering, dehydration and in some rare cases even renal or liver damage.

Hyperemesis gravidarum becomes a serious life-threatening condition when the mother is severely dehydrated. Given the constant vomiting and changes of the body due to the pregnancy, it will be hard for the mother to avoid dehydration. Pregnant women have tried it all, including gingerale, ice and cold water, but many couldn’t overcome the severe morning sickness.

How do you find relief then? “There is limited evidence, the use of ginger, vitamin B6 and acupressure have also been found to be effective for some women, though it’s always worth checking with your midwife or doctor first” said Rosie Odds with the National Childbirth Trust in UK.

In the past, hyperemesis gravidarum or severe morning sickness wasn’t seen as an actual condition and pregnant women dealing with it had no help. Now, there are specialized treatments for severe morning sickness but that often requires the pacient to be rushed to the hospital. Kate Middleton is already there and will be spending a few more days in the hospital.

“With treatment – intravenous fluids and medication to control the vomiting and nausea – it’s quite a benign condition although horrible to have” Dr. Tim Draycott, spokesman for the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, told BBC. “The real risk is under-treatment”, which could last up to 13 weeks, when the high hormone levels causing the severe morning sickness usually start to decrease.

The good news about having severe morning sickness is that it’s likely a sign you’ll be having twins. “We are not sure why some women get it when others do not, but it is slightly more common if the mother is expecting twins” said Dr. Tim Draycott.

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